Gas grills use either natural gas or propane, and it burns out cleaner than other fuels. Propane is flammable, and one needs to be cautious when handling the tanks. There are various reasons why one needs to disconnect the tank from the grill. The apparent reason is when you run out of gas and want to exchange it.
Disconnecting a propane tank is something you can do by yourself as long as you keep the safety measures at hand. Below are ways on how to safely remove a propane tank from a grill without posing any risks.
Precautionary Measures to take
- Disconnecting a propane tank should be done in an open place, e.g., outdoors. Anything inflammable around it will cause explosion or fire, and its best being careful.
- Wear protective gloves to guard you against metal edges.
- It is not advisable to open the valve when the connection is still on. Switch it off before attempting to disconnect the other parts.
- Regulators should be removed first before taking out the tank.
- After disconnection, ensure the POL fitting connector is kept clean. You can use a plastic bag to cover it up and protect it from dirt.
- Run a soapy test to check for leakages before disconnecting or attaching the gas regulator.
The soapy test
Mix water with soap and add the mixture to a spray bottle. Spray the soapy water over the valve, the regulator and the gas hose. You know there is a leak when small bubbles are forming or when you smell gas. Remember to clean the areas with clean water after finishing the leakage test.
Tools you might need
- A wrench
Understanding your propane tank and the connections
Having a basic knowledge of what you are working with is essential. Propane is highly flammable, and therefore it needs knowledge if you are not a pro and probably doing it by yourself. A propane tank contains a gas valve that turns on in an anti-clockwise direction. To switch it off, you need to turn it in a clockwise direction. Other than that, there is also a gas hose and a regulator handwheel, which tightens anti-clockwise when attaching it. To remove it, you loosen it in a clockwise direction.
Now that you have an idea of what to do, here are the steps to follow to disconnect the tank from the grill successfully.
- Remove the tanks from the grill.
First, ensure that the gas knob on the grill is turned off their burners before removing the tank. Many people forget to switch off the coupler, which controls the flow of gas from the tank to the grill. It needs to be loosened.
At the back of the BBQ, there is a fuel line that needs to be disconnected too. The small valve on the propane tank should be completely turned off as well. The valve prevents gas from flowing when the grill is not in use. Shutting it prevents gas leakage, which can accidentally start a mini fire.
To switch it off, turn it in a clockwise direction to avoid any gas leakages. No tool is needed to do this apart from your hands. Keep turning it in a clockwise direction. Turning it anti-clockwise will turn the gas on again.
Various tools in the market can be used to remove the valves, but it is best using your hands. Inside the gas valve, a POL regulator is screwed inside. Tools can end up breaking it.
- Remove the regulators
Propane regulators sometimes are referred to as LPG gas regulators. The regulators are screwed to the valve and should be removed from it. Regulators work by automatically controlling the amount of propane dispensed from the tank to the grill. Most propane regulators are made of brass material.
It is spark-resistant, making it safe to use a wrench on it. The regulator has a hose attached to it, which is connected to the grill. Propane regulators do work with a diaphragm. It is a flexible rubber disc, and it is the thing that helps with gas regulation.
Locate the nut on the tank’s regulator and use a wrench in a clockwise direction to loosen it. Use a wrench or pliers to loosen the nut. When it becomes loose enough, use your hands to pull the neck of the regulator from the tank. Sometimes you will need to screw it if you want it completely tight.
Some amounts of gas may remain in the regulator and the hose. Do not freak out when you smell gas released while you are in the process of removing the regulators.
- Remove the gas line.
Remove the gas line located at the top of the propane tank by unscrewing it. The gas line is usually black or other times translucent and, therefore, easy to notice.
- Store the tank in a safe place
The final step is taking out the propane tank and stores it in a safe place where it cannot catch fire. Even when the tank runs out of propane, there is always a little amount of gas left inside that is inflammable.
Keep it safe or take it for exchange if you need a full one to continue grilling. Connecting it back to the grill is a quick and easy step. If the propane tank is old and you no longer need it, you can recycle it. Alternatively, find the safest way to dispose of it.
Propane gas makes grilling much more comfortable and fun. Disconnecting a propane tank from a grill is that simple when you follow the right steps above. To summarize it all, the gas valve should be turned off first before anything. The only time a tool might be needed is when you want to disconnect the regulator.
You can use these methods for when you want to replace the tank or convert your grill to charcoal. Small amounts of gas do remain in the tank even when you feel it empty. Know which part to turn clockwise, anti-clockwise, or counterclockwise. If you are unsure of how to do, leave it for the professionals.